Northwestern Wisconsin contains large sand deposits of the type of sand that is excellent and highly valued for use in the oil and gas industry. The sand is used in the hydraulic fracturing (“fracking”) process, which pumps sand deep into the ground to help release gas deposits, primarily natural gas. While no actual fracking takes place in Wisconsin, our sand is mined locally and shipped to other states such as North Dakota, Pennsylvania and Texas, which have large natural gas deposits in the shale rock.
Many Wisconsin communities, towns, villages, and cities, find themselves sitting on large frac sand deposits, and are often the desired sites for fast-moving, well-financed industries that move quickly to develop large mining operations. This can create controversy in our communities, where local boards must deal with issues they have never faced before.
We have represented local governments in Northwestern Wisconsin for over twenty years, and have been at the forefront in helping local governments understand and enact appropriate regulations to protect the local community from adverse impacts while giving the local governments the flexibility to allow suitable, well-run mining operations in appropriate locations.
Our firm is well-versed in the legal and regulatory tools available to local governments when they become engaged with the frac sand mining industry. In addition, as a full service law firm, we use a team approach to ensure local governments have expert representation in areas of the law interrelated to the mining industry, including real estate, environmental law, contracts, and litigation matters.